Leadhills and Wanlockhead Broadband Outage – Update

After losing usable broadband at approximately 8pm on the 6th April, users in Leadhills and Wanlockhead should now have a working service; repaired at approximately 2.30am on the morning of 11th April. According to BT engineers who have been in attendance at various times during the week, this was caused by a line card fault and will have affected 31 users.  It would seem that other smaller scale failings have also occurred during this time affecting users not connected through that particular line card. This type of failing occurred at the end of May last year , affecting largely the same group of users.

The experiences of customers, especially those whose Internet is provided by BT, has been similar: denial, more denial, new Home Hubs that are not needed, all with a spectacular lack of coordination. On this occasion as before, BT were repeatedly told by many of us, that several customers were without service, yet still they insist the fault is with users’ equipment; even as two engineers are in attendance and have already logged the fault as a line card failure (Monday). These denials were still apparent as late as Wednesday afternoon, two full days after the fault was diagnosed.

And to extend the realms of the already surreal, BT’s legendary demarcation came into play. The replacement of the offending line card was scheduled for Wednesday and the card was at the exchange awaiting installation, but could not be fitted because the engineer appointed to fit it that morning did not arrive. Other engineers in attendance could not complete this task. Why not?

A number of customers have spoken in passing with engineers attending our exchange and have recounted their experiences. The response of those engineers is telling: “we hear that all the time.” It is also apparent that several customers have not complained and one wonders why? Well, with the promise of perhaps hours of testing and jumping through hoops, only to be told it’s not BT’s problem, despite knowing that others nearby are affected in exactly the same way – which BT customer support routinely denies; who wants to voluntarily go through that?

As a community, we need to get behind B4Gal (our local community cable broadband project) in order to end BT’s stranglehold on local communications infrastructure. BT owns and operates all land based phone and broadband lines here, renting services to other phone and Internet providers. Being with another company does not protect you from BT’s incompetence as your lines all go through BT’s exchange and BT holds the keys and is solely responsible for maintenance.

But while we remain stuck with BT, we should not just relax and wait for the next fiasco. Many of those affected feel strongly that we should complain en-mass, to which end, I ask that anyone affected by this latest outage get in touch through the contact page.

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